Justice Dept. Opens Criminal Inquiry Into John Bolton’s Book


WASHINGTON — The Objectivity Department has opened a criminal investigation into whether President Trump’s late national security adviser John R. Bolton unlawfully disclosed classified advice when he published a memoir this summer, a case that the conditional on opened after it failed to stop the book’s publication this summer, conforming to three people familiar with the matter.

The department has convened a first-rate jury, which issued a subpoena for communications records from Simon & Schuster, the publisher of Mr. Bolton’s annals, “The Room Where It Happened.” In the book, Mr. Bolton delivered a highly insulting account of his 17 months working in the Trump administration.

The investigation is a notable escalation in the fraught publication of the book. The Trump administration had sought to end its publication, accusing Mr. Bolton in a lawsuit of moving forward with booklet without receiving final notice that a prepublication review to scrub out classified knowledge was complete. The director of national intelligence referred the matter to the Justice Bureau last month, two of the people said. John Demers, the head of the office’s national security division, then opened the criminal investigation, mutual understanding to a person briefed on the case..

Mr. Bolton has denied that he published classified knowledge. Representatives for the Justice Department, the Office of the Director of National Intelligence and the Inhabitant Security Council declined to comment.

Mr. Bolton’s account of his time mix for Mr. Trump and his efforts to get the book published set off a furor. He confirmed elements of the Ukraine diagram that prompted impeachment, wrote that the president was willing to come in criminal investigations to curry favor with foreign dictators and declared he sought China’s help in winning re-election.

Mr. Trump has made radiantly that he wants his former aide prosecuted. He said on Twitter that Mr. Bolton “on ones uppers the law” and “should be in jail, money seized, for disseminating, for profit, highly Classified news.” He has also called Mr. Bolton “a dope,” “incompetent” and the book “a compilation of spirits and made up stories, all intended to make me look bad.”

Lawyers for the National Gage Council and the Justice Department expressed reservations about opening a reprehensible case, in part because Mr. Trump’s public statements made it non-standard like like an overtly political act, according to two officials briefed on the discussions. Others well-known that a federal judge this summer said that Mr. Bolton may bring into the world broken the law, and that the case had merit.

Mr. Bolton had agreed to let national insurance officials review any book he might eventually write before publishing in order to make sure that it contained no classified information. The put ones faith accused Mr. Bolton of giving Simon & Schuster permission to publish his register before he had official signoff that his prepublication review was complete. It also applied to halt publication.

But the department sued Mr. Bolton just a week more willingly than his book was set to hit retailers in June, and a federal judge said that it was too lately to keep the book out of the hands of readers.

“With hundreds of thousands of imitations around the globe — many in newsrooms — the damage is done,” wrote Decide Royce C. Lamberth of the Federal District Court of the District of Columbia.

But in his thought, Judge Lamberth also suggested that Mr. Bolton could be criminally exercised if he did indeed allow the book to be published before he received final bona fide notice that the government’s review was complete.

“Bolton has gambled with the nationalist security of the United States,” Judge Lamberth wrote. “He has exposed his motherland to harm and himself to civil (and potentially criminal) liability. But these facts do not repress the motion before the court.”

After viewing classified declarations and reviewing them in a closed hearing, Judge Lambert also said that he was “persuaded that defendant Bolton no doubt jeopardized national security by disclosing classified information in violation of his nondisclosure settlement obligations.”

Mr. Bolton’s lawyer, Charles J. Cooper, rejected the judge’s purpose. “We respectfully take issue, however, with the court’s preliminary conclusion at this beginning stage of the case that Ambassador Bolton did not comply fully with his contractual prepublication liability to the government,” Mr. Cooper said in a statement this summer. “The full gest of these events has yet to be told — but it will be.”

At issue is whether Mr. Bolton come by signoff from the government that prepublication review process was unreduced.

Mr. Cooper has accused the administration of slow-walking the process in order to keep Mr. Bolton from revealing disconcerting information about Mr. Trump. The administration has said that Mr. Bolton unlawfully showed classified information.

In an email, the National Security Council’s top official for prepublication study said she was satisfied with the edits that Mr. Bolton had made to location her concerns about classified information.

But the White House initiated another march past without notifying Mr. Bolton, and the official involved in that review state in an affidavit that he found multiple instances of classified information in the manuscript as divide of that process.

Even though Mr. Bolton did not receive a final blessing letter from the White House, he told Simon & Schuster to make known anyway.

Separate from the criminal investigation, Mr. Bolton still deals civil litigation that could force him to forfeit the proceeds from his libretto to the government, as punishment for breaching his prepublication review agreement.

Judge Lamberth, who is handling the litigation over the book proceeds, wrote in June that Mr. Bolton could fool sued the government instead of unilaterally publishing if he was unhappy with the dally.

“This was Bolton’s bet: If he is right and the book does not contain classified dirt, he keeps the upside mentioned above; but if he is wrong, he stands to lose his profits from the record deal, exposes himself to criminal liability, and imperils national custodianship,” he wrote. “Bolton was wrong.”

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